Texas Lawbook Honors Celanese, Haynes and Boone and Sidley Austin with Creative Partnership Award


The Association of Corporate Counsel’s DFW Chapter and The Texas Lawbook have announced that Celanese Corp., Haynes and Boone, LLP and Sidley Austin will receive the 2019 Creative Partnership Award in recognition of their joint efforts to deliver pro bono legal services.

The organizations will be honored at the 2019 DFW Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards Jan. 30 at the George W. Bush Institute.

The Creative Partnership Award honors in-house corporate legal departments and outside counsel that have forged effective and innovative partnerships to solve legal issues.

“Celanese, Lynne Puckett, and Anne Brooksher-Yen have provided a template for how corporations and their legal departments can meaningfully serve those in need,” says Haynes and Boone Partner Emily Westridge Black, who nominated Celanese for the award. “This is a continuation of Celanese’s long-standing dedication to giving back to the community.”

“We’re proud to have received this recognition for our work with Celanese to ensure that parents and children seeking asylum receive their due process rights,” said David Taubenfeld, partner and Pro Bono and Public Service Committee co-chair. “Haynes and Boone is committed to helping those who need legal services but are least able to pay.”

Below is an excerpt of The Texas Lawbook article:

Anne Brooksher-Yen read the detailed articles in The New York Times in June 2018 about mothers and fathers from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala being separated from their children at the border.

The Celanese Corporation senior associate general counsel was disturbed by what she read, but she had no idea what she could do about it. Then, she read a separate article that Haynes and Boone lawyers were representing families in the detention centers pro bono. Within weeks, Celanese and the Dallas-based law firm were working together on the project. …

After reading articles about Haynes and Boones’ efforts to represent asylum-seekers at the border, Brooksher-Yen reached out to Partner Emily Black, with whom she had worked previously, to see about getting involved.

The Haynes and Boone team welcomed Brooksher-Yen into its ranks. Soon, two other Celanese lawyers joined. Then three more came aboard. The six lawyers worked on eight separate asylum cases.

The news about the legal department’s efforts spread throughout Celanese. Employees in different departments started offering assistance.

“When non-attorney Celanese colleagues expressed interest in joining, Haynes and Boone stepped up the effort in novel ways,” she says. “The firm added supply drives to enable Celanese employees to donate school supplies, clothes and groceries to needy families represented by Haynes and Boone in the separation crisis.”

Celanese employees with Spanish proficiency volunteered to serve as resources and translators for refugee families while Celanese attorneys continued to assist with asylum petitions and legal challenges.

“Different groups within Celanese adopted families and provided food, books for school, soap and other supplies,” she says. “It was basically a starter or welcome to America package. Remember, these folks come across the border with nothing. They are prohibited by U.S. law from getting jobs or working, so little things such as eating can be problematic.”

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